Once again, “thank you” just doesn’t cut it. My parents, family members and friends attended the fundraising event on January 26th, sponsored by Jason Bluy, Jason Conger, Dora Vanrachak, and Megan Gonzales–my work peeps–along with the help of many of my other coworkers. I really wish I could have gone, but my white counts are STILL in the “abnormally low” category, so no crowded bars for this gal any time soon! Everyone I spoke with said the night was a huge success, and my family sent along some pictures of the night. I really don’t know where our family would be today without the love and support from my work family. Also a special thank you to my friends from high school who attended–I know we don’t talk often, but you have always been there for me when I need you, as I would be for any of you. I love you all. Please see pictures below of this event.

Event #2 on the 27th was ALSO a huge success! The Euclid Police Department sponsored a wonderful event, and the turnout was amazing. Again, I really wish I could have attended. My parents and other family members had a wonderful time, and mentioned how great the food was! A special thank you to Alecia Nosse who hosted the event. You are a wonderful person Alecia, with a heart of gold. There is a special place in heaven for you, and my son and I mention you, and all my coworkers when we sing out prayers at night. Thank you so much for everything you did for us. You totally rock Please see all the pictures below from the EPD event.

On the day of the first event, my best friend Samantha and her husband visited from Youngstown. It was so wonderful to see her, and it reminded me of the wonderful times we had during and after college. I love her like a sister, and always will. She is my rock. Oh and I love her husband Pat, too. Sorry dude. lol Shout out Manning fam! …OH and a special shout out to Julia Mullally (Samantha’s grandmother) who reads my blog! You are the most glam gram I know! Keep working that computer girlfriend!! love ya! PS Sam if you are crying right now, which I suspect you are, you better stop, or I will totally punch you in the arm next time I see you. That is totally a threat. I WILL BE FINE STOP WORRYING ABOUT ME YOU’RE GOING TO GET AN ULCER!

In cancer news, I received my MRI brain results. They did find a small spot on my brain, so I will have to repeat the scan again next week. The good news is that neither my oncologist or the radiologist thought the spot looked like cancer. The impression/diagnosis from the radiologist was actually that it appeared to be a resolving viral infection of the brain such as either meningitis or encephalitis. Which means a few months ago when I got really sick, and the doctors all initially thought that I had viral meningitis, I really could have had it!…According to my oncologist this is likely, and it just took so long to go away due to my cancer, and lack of white blood cells to fight off infection. Dang it’s always something to worry about!!! Can’t wait until 2014.

I had my 3rd chemo session yesterday, and it was finally outpatient. We go to Seidman downtown rather than a closer UH infusion center due to the length of time of my chemo, and because all of my oncologists are located downtown so I feel better about going there. My chemo is 6 hours long. AWFUL!!! It actually ends up taking about 8 hours; about 1 hour to make the chemo drugs (for those of you who don’t know, they don’t have these drugs on hand. They make them special for each person the day of chemo based upon your weight for that day); then about another hour rescheduling my next appointments, and meeting with my doctor for a physical exam. Oh I guess it would really be about 9.5 hours for the day, if you include our long drive there and back from Chesterland. All in all the day went OK, other than being a total bore. Because my nausea is so bad, I had to take 2 anti anxiety pills, plus this extremely strong anti nausea pill, both of which knock me out. I was in and out of a sleepy state the entire time, so it didn’t seem so long to me. I sure can’t say the same for my poor husband though! He was pretty bored, and fully aware of that fact. The good thing is that downtown at Seidman, because my chemo is so long, we get an actual room with a bed, chair and private bathroom. They also bring snacks and drinks in for us when we need them, so that’s nice.

I feel semi-OK today, as I usually do the first day after chemo. Side effects on this day are shakiness (likely from all the drugs from yesterday), fatigue, and not much of an appetite. I feel a little bit nauseous, but was able to eat something my husband forced upon me this morning, which is a good thing. Tomorrow will start the crappiest time, which will continue for the following 4 days. But I will say it again…It could totally be worse. There are some people I heard about when I was in the hospital who NEVER get a period of feeling better, and who are constantly on pain medicine. I couldn’t imagine, so compared to that, I’m very grateful. My cousin Mike is getting married in July, and unfortunately, I have chemo scheduled two days before his wedding. I’m really hoping that I won’t feel so horrible by then, considering it should be close to my last session (YAY!!). For those of you fine folks reading my blog who currently have or have had cancer, how long did it take for you to get over feeling horrible the week after chemo?? ..Don’t worry frund. I will be there even if I feel like poop! Wouldn’t miss it!

My parents are FINALLY not sick, so I’ve been able to see them as well, which is nice. We all missed them! Also, I am lucky to have my work computer set up at home. So whenever I’m feeling OK, I am able to work. This is awesome for me, especially since I can’t physically be in the office for more than a few hours, with a mask, due to my low white counts. I’m doing as much work as I possibly can, whenever I can. I actually am on my lunch break right now, and am working a full day. It’s nice to know that I don’t have to worry about using up my leave, and it feels good to be doing work again, and feeling like I’m helping someone.

OK here are some REALLY good things!:

1) For the past 4 days before chemo, I ate like I had never eaten before! It was like I was making up for lost time! Obviously this means both my spleen and liver are getting smaller which is AWESOME! …I also gained 5 lbs since my dr. appointment last week. lol. but hell I wont be eating much this week, so I’m sure that will make up for it!

2) My cousin Becky is an herbal medicine specialist/acupuncture therapist in Chicago. She gracisouly sent me some food-based supplements and natural remedy suggestions for getting rid of my cancer, which I’m super excited to try. Her acupuncture is actually what lead to my 2nd pregnancy! Even though I had a miscarriage, that was totally the cancer’s fault, so she is totally legit, and I love her!

3) My oncologist said yesterday that she couldn’t feel my liver AT ALL, and gave me the OK to have a glass of wine or two, and/or some coffee next week when I’m feeling better. WHOOPPPP!!! That’s the best news I’ve heard in months. And never have I ever needed a glass of wine more in my entire life. (although truth be told, the idea of coffee or wine right now is making me nauseous but maybe I will feel differently about it next week. At least its good news!)

4) The fact that my docs think the spot on my brain is not cancerous. I will probably still worry about it until the scan is repeated, and results conclusive, but I feel good about their response to the findings.

Bad things:

1) Mack has been throwing the worst temper tantrums lately!!! You can tell they stem from the fact that he wants to tell us something but doesn’t know how to use his words, but still. Not to mention the learning curve of a 2 year old totally sucks. We put him in his “time out chair” for doing something bad, and he cries the entire time, only to turn around and do the same thing that landed him there in the first place! oy. Terrible twos. NO DOUBT.

2) As mentioned above, still feeling crappy post chemo and still have low cell counts. I talked about it in a previous post, but neupogen, the drug used to help boost white blood counts is not an option for me for two reasons: first, my marrow has not been affected by my cancer..thank God…and I’m still able to produce healthy white blood cells on my own and second, due to the tumor in my right lung, my risk of a fatal respiratory condition is increased with the use of the drug. So I’m still in hibernation mode in my house! I can go places with a mask–the grocery store, target, or even work, but I can only be out for a few hours at the most. Hell I’ll still take it!

All in all the good news has out-weighed the bad, and that’s a wonderful thing. Thank you again for everyone who has been supporting us throughout this whole ordeal. It sure has sucked, but it sucks a lot less with all of you there!

I have a PET scan scheduled for next week, to determine the progess of my cancer. Fingers crossed that all goes well. I would also appreciate it if you all would say some prayers for my friend Kris, who has been battling brest cancer for nearly a year now. She had a PET scan the other day to determine her progress and is currently waiting for her results. Her strength and positivity is what drives me. You will OWN that scan, girl!

You probably won’t be hearing from me for a few days because I likely will be unable to get out of bed for a few days. But I will be back! kthanksbye

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